Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lawyers Fees Could Hit Record

According to a report in The Houston Chronicle this morning, fees could reach a record $1.4 billion for lawyers, accountants and other professionals working on the Lehman Brothers Holdings bankruptcy, the largest ever in the U.S.

The biggest winner will be New York-based law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Lehman's adviser, with an estimated $209 million in fees. Lynn LoPucki teaches bankruptcy law at Harvard University and bases these projections on fees paid for other large bankruptcies, including the most expensive to date, Enron.

Lehman has debt of about $613 billion and will need a bankruptcy judge's approval for about $906 million in charges for professional services. By comparison, court approved expenses for the bankruptcy of Enron totaled $757 million, of which $149.4 million went to Weil.

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